In March 2009 newly frocked President Obama offered Iran a ‘new beginning’. The world quickly learned that the policy change and new beginning required by Iran was for the West to fully embrace a nuclear Iran. When Iran did not unclench their fist, the US extended sanctions against Iran. Still, Iran moved forward on its nuclear ambitions. The message was that the West will stand here and say “Stop, or I’ll say ‘stop’ again” (thank you, Robin Williams for that line).
The new sanctions, which were followed by more sanctions, were to show Iran the strength of international resolve against a nuclear [People’s] Republic of Iran. Those sanctions, as all the others, were quickly and flagrantly violated. Obama leads the world to say stop and holds out his hand. Iran responds with an end run around Obama while laughing and spouting rhetoric to its allies. The message was “West, get bent.” March 9, 2010 Obama's Iran Policy Collapses to the Accompaniment of Mockery Around the Globe is the title of an article I reposted just weeks ago.
In spite of Western good will and the UNSC’s “strongest sanctions to date” against Iran, Iran was moving forward with intent towards its stated goals of nuclear power. The sanctions against Iran wer to make it harder for Iran to get refined petroleum; either they really do not need that much refined petroleum or Iranian leadership does not care about the needs of its own people. I look at the killing of Iranian protestors in Tehran and can only think that Iran doesn’t really care about its people. But, that’s just me, maybe it was tough love or something like that. This ‘goodwill’ in my terms amounts to ‘appeasement’ which has never worked with dictatorial regimes.
Fast forward to today and we see that Iranian president Mahmud Ahmedinijad is giving a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Michelle Bachmann wants Obama to block that speech. Bachmann points out that Ahmedinijad “… has proven he is in violation of the United Nations charter and of international law," Bachmann declared. "Since he is, in the most literal sense, an outlaw, he should not be allowed in the United States of America." I would push to take it further; the US should arrest Ahmedinijad and hold him for the International Criminal Courts. However, we have treaty obligations which require us to permit this mass murdering talking head come in and have his say.
The GOP has taken note, as have you the observant and inquiring readers, that Obama’s policies towards the Middle East are amateurish and have failed and many are blaming Obama for the most contentious of issues which are ongoing during this UN Assembly. Mitt Romney has pointedly said what I have been saying, that is by giving Palestine a state the entire Middle East Peace Process is being thrown under a bus with Israel.
Peaceful discourse, mutually supportive policies, economic growth, and the realization of certain inalienable rights to all peoples is one way of summarizing US goals and diplomatic efforts. Achieving these goals anywhere has proven difficult. Achieving these goals in the Middle East has proven impossible, at least for the past several decades. Dealing with Iran and Syria has been emblematic of this struggle faced by US policy makers.
In short, the Middle East is ruled by iron fisted dictators that visit their sadistic pleasures against their citizens, routinely and violently attack neighbors based on issues as seemingly trivial as what form of religion they practice, and smile too sweetly at the US with their hands extended either for a questionable handshake or for money. Unless the West drastically changes its political will and stands tall with testicular fortitude, the Middle East WILL devolve further from our vision of peace and further into chaos. The problem with deepening chaos is that the entire world will feel that pain. How much oil do we depend on these sanctimonious psychopaths for? How much of the worlds trade travels through their regions? How much are we going to have to pay in our own ransom before there is another knife at our global throat?
My suggestion is to stand strong and respond to a bloody nose with a bloody nose and breaking of the knee.